I'm more of a lurker here than a contributor, but I thought I'd just add a little something about a trip I've just completed on my 2011 Versys. I live in WA state, so had the opportunity to take a couple of weeks off at short notice and catch the Alaska State ferry up to Haines and then ride back.
The ferry is a trip in itself, as it follows the Inland Passage past Juneau and Wrangell. Anyway, got off at Haines, then rode over to Anchorage (2 days). After a couple of days there, I set up back to come down the Stewart-Cassiar highway, across to Vancouver Island, then back to WA. The trip was a blast - the roads up there are fully paved (although there were a lot of frost heaves, but just keep your eye out - they are marked with little flags), empty, curvy (as opposed to twisty) so 60mph is maintainable most of the time. The campsites were not full by any means, and I camped every night easily finding a British Columbia municipal site or a private one somewhere near to where I wanted to stop.
I popped into Skagway (bit too touristy for me) and Hyder to watch the bears catch the spawning fish (a highlight of the trip).
Stewart-Cassier got a bit lonely at times but it gave a great feeling of being out in the wilds, and avoiding the odd bear on the highway did add a certain element of 'frontierism' to it.
How to the Versys cope ? Brilliantly. Not one thing went wrong with it. I finished off the OEM rear tyre on Vancouver Island but got a replacement quite easily, but with hindsight, I should have got new rubber to start the trip.
Mods to the bike ? Very few:
Fender Extender (it does keep rain and dirt off the radiator)
Radiator Guard (made me feel better keeping it protected from the gravel whilst the frost heaves were being re-surfaced)
SW Motech engind guards (not used
SW Motech skidplate (Again, I felt better having the bottom of the engine protected)
That was it - apart from that lot it was as I bought it. Oh, apart from lots of weather stripping around the cluster and headlight to cure the buzz.
I bought a couple of Motocentric saddle bags (not a great fit, but they did the job well enough), a duffel bag strapped to the pillion seat, and a tank bag for camera, passport etc. I had a 12v charger to keep my camera/video batteries charged, and place it in the tankbag - worked a treat.
So, all in all, a great trip, the Versys worked flawlessly, it caught a few eyes (it stood out against all those BMWs out there) and the roads were great, safe, and fun. Go and find out yourself !